Sunday, October 16, 2016

MLB Playoffs: Day 10

Another day, another great pitching performance from Cleveland.  This time it was Josh Tomlin (13-9 in the regular season) who went 5 2/3 innings to start the game, and who left with a 2-1 lead thanks to a home run by Carlos Santana in the second and a two-out RBI single by Lindor in the third.  That was all the Indians' remarkable bullpen needed, as they shut out the Blue Jays the rest of the way.  Cleveland has now won five post-season games in a row for the first time in franchise history, and Tribe fans will hope that their pitching can hold up for at least two more victories.

Later that night, the Cubs and Dodgers played a great game.  The Cubs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but L.A. kept pecking away, and finally tied up the score in the top of the 8th thanks to a two-run, two-out single by Adrian Gonzalez.  The Cubs responded in the bottom of the 8th with a lead-off double by Ben Zobrist.  Pitching very carefully now, Dodger reliever Joe Blanton got a groundout, an intentional walk, a short fly ball, and another intentional walk.  That loaded up the bases with two outs and the pitcher's spot coming up.  Since the Cubs' pitcher at the time was Aroldis Chapman, this meant that the Cubs had to either let their closer bat or take him out of the game.  They pulled him, and it looked as though Dodger manager Dave Roberts had carried off another coup similar to some of those he pulled in the last two games against the Nats.  But the Cubs are not the Nats, and pinch-hitter Miguel Montero proved this point by blasting a 2-2 pitch deep into the ecstatic Wrigley Field stands in right for a grand slam that effectively settled the proceedings.  The Cubs tacked on one more run and finished with an 8-4 victory.  If the Dodgers' bullpen can't do much better than that, the Dodgers will be in big trouble.

Cleveland 2 - 1 Toronto

Chicago 8 - 4 Los Angeles

Chicago leads Los Angeles 1-0

Cleveland leads Toronto 2-0


  1. In the top of the 2d, Adrian Gonzalez lofts a solo home run over the wall in left center field, and the Dodgers have an early 1-0 lead.

  2. In the bottom of the 5th, the Cubs get a pair of two-out singles, but Kershaw slams the door. After five, the Dodgers still lead 1-0.

  3. Really nice play by Cub second baseman Javier Baez in the top of the 6th. The Dodgers have runners on first and second with one out, and Joc Pederson hits a soft liner toward Baez. Baez wisely lets the ball drop in front of him, which allows the Cubs to turn a run and get out of the inning.

    The Cubs are regarded as one of the greatest defensive squads in history, and they have lived up to that reputation so far.

    Still 1-0 after 5 1/2.

  4. Kershaw retires the Cubs, and it's still 1-0 after 6.

  5. OK, it's getting real now. Javier Baez, who has been red-hot in this series, comes to the plate in the bottom of the 7th with two out and a runner on 1st.

    Kershaw v. Baez:

    Pitch 1: Ball (1-0) (Kershaw is upset with the ump -- he thought that was a strike)
    Pitch 2: Baez whacks the ball to the deepest part of Wrigley Field, but it is caught on the warning track in center field to end the inning

    Still 1-0 Dodgers after 7. Kershaw has allowed 2 hits so far.

  6. The Dodgers are going for it now -- they send out closer Kenley Jansen to pitch the 8th, and he retires the Cubs on only 10 pitches.

    With one inning left, the Dodgers lead 1-0.

  7. Dodgers trying to get another run in the top of the 9th. Joc Pederson walks -- and steals second, only his seventh steal of the year. He's bunted to third, and now it's up to Kike Hernandez to get the run home with one out. The Cubs have Chapman in the game.

    Chapman v. Hernandez:

    Pitch 1: Ball (1-0)
    Pitch 2: Swinging Strike (1-1)
    Pitch 3: Ball (2-1)
    Pitch 4: Hernandez flies out softly to center, and Pederson has no chance to run. He would have been out by a mile.

  8. Yasiel Puig pops up, and the inning is over. Still 1-0 going into the bottom of the 9th. It's all up to Jansen now.

  9. Cubs will be sending up the top of the order: Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo.

  10. On the first pitch, Rizzo lines out to Utley and the GAME IS OVER. Kershaw and Jansen give the Cubs only two hits and no runs, and the Dodgers beat the Cubs 1-0. That was a quality win, and we are all tied going to L.A. What a game!

  11. Wow! That is some baseball right there. I didn't see any of it, but it was great to read this report. I felt like I was standing on the parking lot of my local newspaper office, watching a sportswriter relay wire-service bulletins and update a chalk scoreboard.

    I am for Cleveland and Chicago (but also a little for Los Angeles, because you used to be a Dodgers fan).